"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We are to grow in holiness, which will find expression in four ways.
Holiness is to be like Christ (Christ likeness).
Holiness is a gradual process. We are a work in progress. Maturity comes with deliberate striving.
The work of attaining holiness belongs to the Holy Spirit. We are not born holy, but acquire the potential for holiness when we are born again, and the Holy Spirit begins to reside in us.
We are to remove the veil from our faces and let His holiness be shown. That is our part, to reflect His glory. Since the Bible reflects the glory of God, it is our responsibility to discover that glory through careful and deliberate study of His Holy Book.
So, dear friends, I urge you to move forward in your walk with Christ by confessing sin, seeking Christian companions, making good use of your Sundays, and carefully reading God's word.
"'When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:38-40 (NIV)
While I don’t find war justifiable unless provoked, I do support our comrades in arms; those soldiers on the front lines protecting our religious freedoms and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Often times, our soldiers return home to find a less than hero’s welcome and despite what’s promised, don’t always receive the medical care and support needed. “Helping a Hero” is an organization that provides a bridge over troubled water -- emotional and financial support for our severely wounded and disabled War on Terror Veterans, and their families.
Several months ago, I joined some good friends to thank a few of these heroes through a charity ride from the inner-city of Houston to Seabrook, a small suburb.
You had to have witnessed police escorts blocking off on-ramps to both Highway 59 and I-45 as 500 motorcycles, two abreast, made their way to salute our service men and women. Each motorcycle proudly displayed the American Flag waving in the wind and many folks … waiting for us to pass… waved at us and we responded in return.
When we arrived, we were able to personally thank a number of heroes for their service and for making a sacrifice for us. There was plenty of food and camaraderie and in addition to our entry fee to ride, more money was raised from t-shirt sales and other items. Every dollar we raised was needed and more.
Saying “thank you” for the sacrifice of others is non-political, but it is biblical in scope. How can we say thank you for those who stand in harm’s way for us? Hear His Word and discover ways to let the grace and gratitude of our Heavenly Father minister to others.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, thank You for showing us how to love unconditionally through the sacrifice of Your only Son, our Lord and Savior. When we are weary, feeling small, when tears are in our eyes, You dry them all; You’re on our side. When times get rough and friends can’t be found, You’re our ‘bridge over troubled water.’ When we’re down and out, when we’re on the street, when evening falls so hard, You comfort us and take our part. When darkness comes and pain is all around, You are our ‘bridge over troubled water. (based on lyrics by Paul Simon)
Thank you Lord!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, August 12, 2009
"Hair Doth Not a Man Make"
Tiger Woods tried something different. He bleached his hair white! Soon after he made this shocking adjustment, he appeared at a banquet where golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear, was attending.
If you are not a golf fan, Tiger Woods has taken the golfing world by storm, and has been a terrific role model for kids, and an inspiration for everyone. Most of us remember the Bear as the man with blonde hair who could knock the golf ball farther and higher than anyone else on the course, until Tiger came along.
When Jack saw Tiger's new "Do" he walked up to him and said, "Tiger, I don't mind that you are trying to break all my old records. But are you going to try to look like me too?"
I am certain that that wasn't Tiger's intent, but it did bring to mind a spiritual truth. “Clothes do not a man make.” And, we could add hair color to that list as well. In fact, while God is looking intently at the heart of a person to examine character, we spend most of our time gazing at the extremities to determine value and worth.
Folks, it makes no eternal difference how you look, what you wear, or what you drive. What does matter is how well your heart matches up with the Heart of Christ. I doubt seriously that Jesus is going to meet us at Judgment Day with a list to see how many designer labels we have in our wardrobe!
Let us now live so that others will see past our flaws, and see in us the mind and heart of a Redeemer whose arms are open wide enough to welcome us all. Amen and amen.
Hemmingway, Michener, and Melville... all extraordinary writers and novelists but all very unique in their styles.
Poe, Longfellow and Keats... all excellent poets whose styles and verse was as different as night and day.Yet... we loved and honored them all.
Movies, clothes, cars, food... all things we love; but, contained within each is a world of wonderfully unique differences.Maybe that's why we love them.
What about God?The many religions of the world tell us that there are multiple and unique ways to know and serve God.Like our novels, poems, cars and clothes, religion tells us that each in its own way is acceptable (Although some religions disdain and disparage others, thinking they are the only true religion).
What does God say?
God didn't give us religion, He gave us His Word.Although His Word comes to us in many different translations and languages, its message is the same:
Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength
Love your neighbor as yourself
Believe in the risen Messiah, Jesus our Lord - fully man and fully God - Who died for our salvation, rose from the dead, sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and Who will come again in glory.
There are many more directions and commandments a believer should follow; but, these three simple acts - two of love and one of belief - encompass all of God's plans for His children.Unless these three are first and foremost, the others become as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.
So, does "different strokes for different folks" apply to the many religions of the world?Maybe... if those religions place these three commandments first.
If these simple commandments of God are the cornerstone of our faith, we can come together as believers and get past our differences because our faith is centered on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)